The florists, despite being skeptical about profits next year, are busy planting Rajanigandha (tuberose,) rose, gerbera, marigold (gada,) gladiolus, gypsy, and other varieties of flowers
Florists in Jessore are worried that the upcoming 2020 may not reap adequate profits compared to this year, as the lingering effects of natural calamities (Cyclone Bulbul,) increasing use of plastic flowers, and cultivation of flowers in other districts may bring about losses.
They usually earn the most during the first day of the new year, Pohela Falgun on February 13, Valentine's Day on February 14, Language Movement Day on February 21, and National Victory Day on December 16.
The florists, despite being skeptical about profits next year, are busy planting Rajanigandha (tuberose,) rose, gerbera, marigold (gada,) gladiolus, gypsy, and other varieties of flowers.
Upon visiting several flower farms in Jhikargacha upazila's Godkhali union, it was found that the abundant roses were covered in white sheets. Farmers said this is done to delay their blooming until they are eligible to be sold on those special occasions.
February 13 and 14 are the busiest days for the florists, when Pohela Falgun and Valentine’s Day are celebrated respectively. Traders say the sale of flowers soars with the celebrations, especially on Valentine’s Day, as exchanging flowers among loved ones on these special days is a common ritual in the country.
Aminul Islam, a florist and trader at Godkhali, has grown tuberose, rose, gerbera, marigold, and gladiolus on 16 bigha of land this year to meet the demands of February 2020.
"Cyclone Bulbul hampered the proper blooming of my flowers," he lamented.
"In spite of that, I hope to recuperate my losses by next February," Aminul added.
Abdul Gaffar, another florist, harvested flowers on three bigha of land this year. Previously he used to reap profits of Tk1 lakh-1.5 lakh from per bigha of land, but now it has reduced to Tk70,000-80,000.
Momin Hossain, a florist from Godkhali, said the increased import of plastic flowers and its widespread use has badly affected their business.
"Moreover, several districts where we used to supply flowers are now cultivating flowers themselves," he remarked.
Bangladesh Flower Society President Abdur Rahim said three million people are involved in this flower industry, including 20,000 florists. Jessore alone has 6,000 florists. While sales remain minimal throughout the year, the special days are the time when the most business takes place.
He acknowledged the florists' apprehension regarding use of plastic flowers and other issues. "Even though the annual revenue target was met for 2019, we are not so sure about meeting the sales target for 2020."
Masud Hossain Palash, agriculture officer at Jhikargacha upazila, said flowers were grown on 625 acres of land in six unions of the upazila this year.
Flower cultivation was introduced in the district in 1983 on only 30 decimals of land.